Tag Archives: Amazon

Make no mistake. If you have heard me speak before almost anywhere or read anything I have to say about writing, I emphasize one thing above all else:

“You can be as artsy as you want to be while you are writing your book, but once it is finished, it is a product. A product you must distribute and market in order for it to sell.”

There’s another part to this reality of writing as a business: the number one distributor of ebooks remains Amazon, and for most authors about 80% of their sales would disappear, should the online giant refuse to sell their work. Discoverability on Amazon is the number one trick authors, publishers, and book marketers are trying to crack. Of course, if it works on Amazon, the same method will likely increase sales on iBooks and Nook as well, provided an author even offers their books for…

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4 Mistakes That Can Cost Your Book the Best Sellers List (Genre Categories)

Write Like Rowling

In my previous post I talked about virtual co-op and how most online bookstores sell their prime real estate to the highest bidder (i.e., large publishing houses). The exception is Amazon, whose co-op is mostly based on merit. In other words, Amazon gives away most of its prime spots to those books best suited to a particular reader’s tastes. Now the question is: how can a book show Amazon that it’s the best choice to recommend? That’s what we’ll be looking at in this final post on genre categories.

The 4 Big Mistakes

Many authors—and even publishing houses—don’t understand Amazon’s genre categories. This naïveté is extremely detrimental for sales because Amazon uses genre categories to fill its Best Sellers lists. In short, if you don’t understand how to categorize your book, you’re almost guaranteed lackluster sales. 

In this post I’ll again be drawing from David Gaughran’s book Let’s Get Visible: How to Get Noticed and Sell More Books.

Mistake #1: Your Categories Are Too Broad

For each book…

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Think You Couldn’t Possibly Lose Your Amazon Publishing Account? Think Again.

This is a little scary. Has this happened to anyone else?

The Active Voice

There’s this indie author I know a little bit from the Kboards.com forum. Her name is Pauline Creeden, and she’s an ordinary midlister, like so many of us. I remember PMing her some time ago and gushing about how particularly beautiful one of her book covers is — the one for Chronicles of Steele: Raven.collection Here, I’ll include an image. Gorgeous, eh?

Anyway, today I tuned in to Kboards and noticed that Pauline had started a thread. It contained what’s surely the worst news possible for an indie author: Amazon had closed her publishing account. All her ebooks had been taken off sale. Permanently. Here’s the email she got from Amazon:

We are reaching out to you because we have detected that borrows for your books are originating from systematically generated accounts. While we support the legitimate efforts of our publishers to promote their books, attempting to manipulate…

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Death_to_stock_photography_wild_5You have finally finished your book. After all the long hours of back numbing writing and research, your baby has finally arrived. You have been dreaming about the success of this book before it was actually written. You can see yourself selling a million copies and countless of agents are just trying to find creative ways to talk to you about representation and movie deals. Let’s just take a breath for a second, after months or maybe years of self-doubt and discipline you are finally finished with your book. For the modern author, the work has just begun. There used to be a time when all a writer had to do was concentrate on writing good material their book got published, they sat and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. That reality quickly became a fantasy  after the birth of social media, writers are expected to be more involved with…

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Amazon is Not a Distributor

Marketing Christian Books

Last week I had the death flu. As I lay in my bed for four days in a cough-raked body in a fever-induced state of mind, I began to ponder the important questions. Questions like “When will ISIS be stopped?” and “How far will the Chinese economy fall and what impact will that have on economies around the World?” Then came the question, “Why do so many self-published authors think that Amazon is a distributor?” With that my brain said, “There’s a blog post,” and I knew I was on the road to recovery.

hand-out-books-t14745

Does Walmart buy books from Target to sell in their stores? Does Lifeway buy books from Family Christian to sell in their stores? Of course not. If one retailer bought product from another retailer, they would not make any money and would go under.

If you asked bookstore owners and managers who their biggest competitor is…

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Worshipping the Ever-Elusive Amazon Book Review

disappearinginplainsight

five stars - google image

Amazon is in the process of suing 1,114 Fiverr users for offering to write fake product reviews for money. The publishing giant is hot on the scent of authors who used this type of service. That will result in many book reviews being pulled. Amazon is also cracking down heavily on the practice of review swapping amongst authors.

This is a positive happening for readers. I’m not alone in having skimmed through some stellar reviews, bought the book in question, began to read and found myself stunned at the formulaic, predictable writing, or plot holes, or lack of proofreading or all of the above. I definitely wondered who on earth could have penned those five-star reviews.

Cash register - Google image

Paying for reviews is a major no-no for all self-published authors. Put aside the fact that the big publishing houses pay for reviews all the time. For those of us who have chosen self-publishing…

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When nobody reads your writing

I am reblogging this post mainly for the link to the article “Amazon Offers All-You-Can-Eat Books. Authors Turn Up Their Noses,” reported in The New York Times by David Streitfeld on December 27, 2014. (To read it, click on the link.)This article interests me, and may interest you as well, because when Amazon rolled out the Kindle Unlimited sales strategy, I was skeptical, even though my book hasn’t been published yet. From reading the article, It appears I do have reason to be concerned, even though I am not clear how Kindle Unlimited has affected all authors. If anyone has a book on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Jamie Fessenden's Blog

386200_2673280425520_1061443511_32785704_1832786642_n.jpgWhenever an article or blog comes out in which an author grumbles about lack of sales, as author Michael Henderson did in this recent article about Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, it’s common for people to slam them as whiners who don’t respect reader’s choices to buy other authors’ works, or worse, to claim it’s because their work is obviously inferior.

I don’t like this.

Michael Henderson will probably do just fine thanks to the boost his sales are likely to get from the article—he’s at least picked up one good review from it—but I’d like to address a few points:

  1. Amazon has over 3 million eBooks available.  It’s illogical to assume that any reader is able to go through that morass of brilliant and god-awful novels and decide which are good and which are not, in his or her opinion.  Readers — and that includes every author I’ve ever known…

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